Straight line winds put a wrinkle in Covington’s July 4th celebration, forcing the Fountain County Emergency Management to cancel it June 30 for safety of the community. The parade was rescheduled for July 4, organizer Dottie Vollmer said.
Joe Whitaker, the Fountain County Emergency Management Director explained that any event conducted in the county has made an event emergency plan.
“The NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] calls with a morning briefing and tells me if there is anything in the area,” Whitaker explained. “Then if there is something that comes on the radar before the next briefing they will call.”
That’s when the parade was rescheduled. Whitaker got a phone call and notified the Covington festival planners and the Fountain County Sheriff’s Department who were already on scene along the parade route.
Whitaker said that severe weather is also something that is shared on the Code Red emergency system which services Warren and Fountain county residents. fountaincounty.net is the website that people can go to input a landline or cell phone to receive announcements about severe weather. He also shared that the system can be utilized for anything emergency related; missing child alerts, weather, flooding, road closures, etc.
Meanwhile Covington’s town celebration will go on as planned weather permitting, Vollmer said.
“We had to cancel our Stevie Nicks tribute band and the Elton John tribute performer, but they are interested in trying again next year,” Vollmer added.
Tina Holmes of the Fountain County Emergency Management said that no one reported damages directly to the office, however she confirmed their have been numerous reports of trees that came down during the storm.